In the aftermath of the distressing murder cases reported in Kenya, it is crucial to reflect on the impact such events can have on youth relationships.
These tragedies shed light on the need for quick proactive measures to foster healthier connections among the younger generation. These measures should start right from primary school as it gives a good foundation on the does and don’ts while and before entering a relationship.
As it is now, we should encourage open communication channels where we egg on open and honest communication between young individuals. This will establish an environment where the youth will feel safe discussing their thoughts and concerns is crucial for preventing potential issues from escalating.
Different counseling groups can also enlighten the youth on the well-known ‘Red flags’ in relationships. They should provide simplified and easy education on recognizing red flags in relationships. Awareness of signs of unhealthy dynamics can empower young people to identify and address potential problems before they escalate to more severe situations.
Every youth should be enlightened about their Mental Health Awareness and be allowed to address their mental health concerns openly. Encourage seeking professional help when needed and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, as untreated mental health problems can contribute to relationship difficulties and this result to more killings.
Build supportive communities led by grown-ups and other youths and victims where individuals can seek guidance and assistance. In these communities, there’s a need to establish networks of trust as it can serve as a safety net for young people navigating the complexities of relationships.
The government can help to promote education and skill development, empowering young individuals to pursue their goals independently and for instance let them know that it’s okay to do it alone without a love partner. An empowered youth is more likely to engage in healthy relationships based on mutual growth and support than short-term goals such as walking together holding hands on the streets, making TikTok challenges videos as lovers and buying matching clothes for photoshoots.
Parents are also called upon to show parental involvement without imposing control as parents can play a crucial role in guiding their children through relationship challenges while respecting their autonomy from the onset of the puberty stage of their children. Parents are also advised to employ media literacy to help young individuals critically evaluate depictions of relationships in various forms of media. Realistic expectations contribute to a more grounded and healthy approach to dating and partnerships which can be seen online on social media platforms and even watch on TV.
The author has a passion for the development of resilient and healthy youth relationships in Kenya